Women Who Inspire: Launching Damsel NOT in Distress

Starting today, it’s time to bid adeu to 3Up Adventures.*

A lot has changed in my life, and more and more often, the world around me seems to be changing just as fast. I have grown substantially by embracing my ability to do things—I’ve worked on renovations, become passable at maintaining my vehicle, and feel pretty empowered to tackle projects and experiences of all kinds.

This blog will largely continue to be a record of my own activities and projects. One of the things that has always motivated me to write here is to create a record of places I’ve gone and things I’ve done first and foremost for myself. On the other hand, I do have some wonderful readers of this blog. It is a new goal of mine to bring you stories of other women doing inspiring things. I am not entirely sure what form that will take but I am excited to build that space.

Thank you so much to you all for following my adventures. I find the feedback that I get from readers who are inspired by *me* super inspiring.


What’s Changed? Where do I follow along?
  • Update your RSS feeds/readers to follow http://damselnotindistress.com/blog/. All new blog posts will be made only on Damsel NOT in Distress, although I’m attempting redirect 3Up traffic and links to the appropriate posts here.
  • Facebook made me start an entirely new page claiming my name was misleading to readers so you can find me there under “Damsel NOT in Distress.”
  • My Twitter and Instagram handles have simply been updated to the new name.

*3Up was named for my ex, Sprocket, and I all riding on our quad together. 3Up, the corollary for a couple and their dog instead of “2 Up” on a motorcycle.

Mariela: Traveling Alone

I’m on my way back from Utah today (I am not ready to go back to work!) I have one more guest post about embracing adventure to round out the week. (If you haven’t read Kinzie and Vado’s posts yet, go do it!) Today, Mariela is writing about the just buying a ticket and going but more importantly she’s talking about how adventure and being a grownup are not incompatible.

My tale of adventure begins with a nervous young woman sitting in front of the computer, purchasing herself a ticket to a European country for which she doesn’t speak the language, with only enough money for 4 nights of hostels & 6 of couch surfing. (I should add that notifying my mother of my plans lead to tears, excessive pepper spray purchases and her cutting a strand of my hair for my DNA, “just in case…”)

December of 2011 marked my first closed real estate deal, hooray! Most of that commission was meant to sit in my savings account in preparation for my cross-country move to Chicago that would finally putting an end to two years of long distance—something I’d been working two jobs to make happen. But in early January of 2012, I spent an evening watching Midnight in Paris and listening to the soundtrack on repeat for about a solid week to follow. Not more than three days later, Kayak came to my daydream’s rescue—a 72-hour sale on flights to Europe! I’ve always been one of those rambling believers of fate, ‘Everything happens for a reason,’ you’ll hear me say in the best and worst of times. And this? This was the very best of times.

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Vado: Adventure Choices

I’m really happy to have a guest post from “Vado” of Vado Porro talking about how she and her husband are discussing how they can incorporate adventure into their life. One of the things I really love about this post is looking at the process of deciding the role that adventure will have in your life. (I’m also a little astounded to hear how 3Up Adventures played a small role in kick-starting their conversation about adventure.)

It seems apt that I would write a post about whether or not to quit our jobs and go off on a grand adventure with my husband on Beth’s blog, because the fact we’re even thinking about it at all is totally her fault.  See, awhile ago, Beth posted a review of The Way.  Which I immediately added to my Netflix cue (and found my husband had put there himself) and we finally sat down and watched it earlier this summer.

When we shut it off, we sat there, and then quietly, one of us said, “we could do that.”  And the other person agreed.  And one of us said, “we have the money,” which is also true.  We have a comfortable amount in savings, due to not doing irresponsible things like quitting our jobs and hiking all over Europe. *  And then one of us pointed out that we don’t have kids yet.  And that we don’t have a house.  And we don’t have that much furniture we really like.  And that we’re both potentially interested in leaving our jobs sometime in the next year or so, and one of us really needs to have a good excuse to quit, and a solid deadline.

*Editors Note: Irresponsibility is all relative

Once the hangover of the movie wore off (which took a good week), we kept researching.  The biggest road block is that we haven’t found the right trip yet.  It has to be epic, and awesome, and not too expensive (we have the money but we aren’t bazillionaires).  This can’t just be, “we quit our jobs so we could take a three week vacation to New Zealand” or probably even, “we quit our jobs and went around the world”.  Those seem too easy.  It also can’t be “we raised thousands of dollars for a worthy cause by making our friends finance our vacation,” because I’m lousy at asking people for money and my friends don’t have very much of it.

The time frame we are looking at is relatively short – either 2 or 3 months.  I’m in a wedding in August, and I have to stay at my job through May.  Going next fall is possible, but unlikely, given the timing of other things.  This means something like thru-hiking the AT or the PCT are both out.  It means that an around the world journey is out.  It means that things like cycling cross country or up and down the pacific coast or across Canada are still possibilities, or backpacking through Europe or hiking across England.

It can’t just be an ordinary vacation.  In fact, the point isn’t to go on a vacation.  The point is to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip that shapes our marriage and gives us awesome stories to tell our children.  The point is to challenge ourselves as much as possible and give ourselves an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and what we can accomplish.  Ships are safe at harbor, but that isn’t what ships are built for.  If we were ever going to go further, do more, see more, now is our opportunity.

So what is keeping us from taking the leap?  Well, taking this chance means putting off having kids, which is pretty high on the priority list.  It means giving up our jobs and our awesome apartment and taking a huge leap of faith.  It means thumbing our noses at our families, who will surely not approve of anything that involves us quitting our (very good) jobs.  It means giving up benefits like health insurance, which means that having children moves even further into the future.  It means a lot of risk, and a possible limited reward.  It’s a risk that is worth it for the right epic adventure, but that could also be a very wrong choice if things go wrong .

We haven’t come to any conclusions yet.  But we’re both still researching and pushing forward towards an unknown future, so I think that even the journey to find a journey is going to teach us more about ourselves than we expect.

Kinzie: Leap of Faith

I’m off adventuring in Utah celebrating being a newlywed but I’ve still got some posts lined up for this week. First off, we have a guest post from Kinzie (this is also 3Up Adventures first guest post ever!). When she replied to my call for posts on how you incorporate adventure into your life by offering to write about how her boyfriend (now husband!) followed her to France after dating for just a few months I was ecstatic. I love love love this post. Love and Adventure together; simply perfect for our post wedding week. And with that, Kinzie:

My husband and I had been dating for approximately two months when I found out I got a teaching job in France for the next school year. It was simultaneously exciting and terrifying to know that I was falling in love with the guy chopping tomatoes across from me, while anticipating the seven months we would have to spend apart, if our relationship could even withstand the distance.

My mom seemed to think she had it all figured out. Any time I was sad or worried about the impending time apart, she said, “Well, Donnie should just move to France with you.”

“Mom, it’s not that easy. He can’t just move to France.”

“Well, I think he should. You guys would have fun.”

I was convinced that this wasn’t a realistic solution, but my mom was relentless. (We had this same conversation approximately 50 times.) And, maybe this is just a “magical mom power” but the more she said it, the more I decided she was probably right. So I started looking into creative ways to get Donnie over to France with me.

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Support “Photo Journey to the Mecca of Epic”

When we got engaged last July and started planning our wedding, we knew that we wanted some awesome pictures to document the event because 1) it’s our wedding and 2) it’s Moab!

I scoured the internet searching for the perfect person to photograph our wedding. After more hours than I care to admit, I wound up finding Amanda through A Practical Wedding. Forrest and I sent her an email (or ten) and the three of us had an awesome Skype conversation. The fact that Amanda was super excited to come out and take pictures of our wedding made it easy to know that she was the one we wanted to come out to Utah. We’ve emailed back and forth as our wedding plans have developed and had an awesome Skype chat last week which left me pretty much grinning.

This morning, a post popped up in my Google Reader: Amanda’s Big Adventure Means Loot For You.

“So, a few hours with Google Maps, a calculator, and a few big cups of coffee, and I’ve got numbers.  Big numbers.  Numbers like 5000 miles, 68 hours of driving.”

A 5,000 mile road trip? To do what she loves? Now I know we picked the right person to shoot our wedding.

Amanda’s got some big plans to hit up some classic spots in the west and make pictures all along the way. She’s planning on shooting film and digital. Traveling. Exploring. Taking pictures. Simply put, she’s doing the thing she loves. (And you know, shooting our wedding in there too.)

To help support her trip, she’s started an Indiegogo campaign called Photo Journey to the Mecca of Epic with some pretty sweet perks including postcards, calendars, fine art prints, and more. Click over to her campaign and take a look at what she’s offering. Over at 3Up Adventures, we’re always psyched to see someone get an opportunity and run with it—Amanda’s Big Adventure is totally one of those kickass dream chasing ideas.